Unite demands Minister honour 2018 commitment to seek EU assistance
July 23rd: Unite today called on Communications, Climate Action and Environment Minister Richard Bruton to take charge of the crisis in Bord na Mona which is threatening jobs throughout the Midlands and which was exacerbated today with the news that the EPA has refused planning permission for the re-development of the West Offaly power station at Shannonbridge.
Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Bernard Daly said:
“Back in October 2018, amidst growing concerns about jobs at Bord na Mona, Minister Bruton stated that an application to the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund would be prepared together with the trade unions and the company. The Globalisation Fund has since become the EU Fund for Transition and its remit has been widened. Since then we have had the threat of compulsory layoffs at Lanesborough, while today’s news that planning permission has been refused for redevelopment of the Shannonbridge power station and its conversion to biomass threatens hundreds more jobs.
“It is clear that the crisis is spreading to the Irish energy sector as a whole, yet no application has been made for EU assistance, nor have unions been consulted regarding an application. Instead, Minister Bruton has adopted a policy of studied inaction.
“It is time for the Minister to take charge. As a start, and as a sign of good faith, Mr Bruton should intervene with Bord na Mona management to halt the threatened compulsory layoffs at Lanesborough. He should then convene a forum of all stakeholders, including unions, to develop an application for assistance to the EU Fund for Transition and to lobby for the success of such an application.
“The Minister for Climate Action needs to start taking action”, Bernard Daly concluded.